So, it appears the big game release winners this year goes to both World of Warcraft and Half Life 2. I think what has shocked many, is just how popular WoW is over the long anticipated EverQuest II. Personally, I don’t care much for EverQuest II’s gameplay, and I don’t care much for WoW’s graphics.

With the release of Half Life 2 and now the Half Life 2 SDK, 11/2004 marks the beginning of a new FPS era. The next generation MODs are already under heavy development and should start releasing betas early next year. Until then, there’s a great frag-fest to be had in Half Life 2’s newly released deathmatch MOD. I suppose, rather than hold back the Half Life 2 release again, Valve decided to just do a post-release of the Half Life 2 multiplayer, which would be similar to Half Life 1’s DM MOD.

Ok, if you’re anything like me, you’re getting burned out on the FPS games and there really isn’t a very good RPG released yet (no, WoW and EverQuest II really don’t count either). So, I’ve already started my return back to the RTS games. There are 2 upcoming releases that I’ll soon have my pawz on: Lord of the Rings Battle for Middle Earth and Earth 2160.

In fact, I’ve reinstalled Earth 2150 and have been playing it again. Even for an older game, they did a great job on it. The graphics, gameplay, unique units, resource gathering, and production centers bring back memories of StarCraft. Just like in the past, when RTS games like StarCraft, Dark Reign, and Rise of Nations rose the bar in RTS games, Earth 2150 joined them. Looking at the upcoming Earth 2160, nothing will be able to touch it.

These games (other than StarCraft) may not have been the most popular, but they did provide unique features, which evolved the RTS games along the way. For example, the command & conquer series really didn’t offer anything unique, but was very popular.

Anyway, while some of you will be spending your time in World of Warcraft, Half Life 2, EverQuest II, or other games, I’ll be enjoying my return to gaming tactics in RTS games.